Now that you have graduated from all the college sweats and oversized t-shirts that once doubled as both pajamas and workout clothes, it is time to learn how to make your sexy and fun fitness gear last. So read on and find out how to "stretch" the wear of your lycra ladies.
More Dough, More To Know. The more money you spend on your fitness fashion the more tender loving care it most likely needs. While most brands are made primarily of lycra/spandex higher end brands such as lululemon or Zobha cost more because they are made using higher quality material (for instance lululemon's signature fabric is luon). So when shelving out multiple $20's for running capris be sure to read the label and surf the brands website for specific care instructions before you hit the laundry mat.
Give Them The Cold Shoulder. No matter what your fitness fashion budget may be a good rule of thumb for extending your sweaty gear is to wash them in cold water. Yes hot water may help remove the stench you picked up on the treadmill but it will also cause the material to both fade and deteriorate much quicker. So don't worry about the stench just yet (I got some foul odor remedies for you boo...keep reading) and flip that dial to cold wash only.
Diversify Your Detergent. Here's the trick: because you are using cold water primarily you are going to have to add a little more detergent to up the cleaning power of your soiled garments. Most detergents are activated by warm temperatures so this extra dose of suds is necessary. And lastly, avoid detergents that have bleach and/or fabric softener. Both don't play so well with technically enhanced fabrics and will ultimately inhibit the garment's wicking capabilities.
Stench Be Gone. The main reason most folks dump their lovely workout gear is because no matter how many times their sports bras have seen the wash cycle they be straight funky! Which is understood considering their main wearability involves lots and lots of sweat. But there actually are ways to get the stench out before it sets in and holds your lycra hostage. First and foremost after you peel of your sweat drenched fit rinse those babies off. Sometimes I hit the gym shower in my clothes. This helps get some of the sweat out until I can get home. Once I get to the crib I toss them into a small tub filled with water, detergent, a little vinegar and little baking soda. I let them soak overnight, hang them to dry and then come laundry day I give them their due wash.
Air On The Safe Side. Last but certainly not least there is one place my fit gear rarely sees: the dryer. When time permits air drying your workout clothes is the best way to maintain their elasticity and technical functions. The heat in the dryer breaks both these elements down and can cut the life or your workout gear almost in half. So air on the safe side and hang dry all things sporty; and if you must use the dryer...set it on low.